Considering a safe pool entry is important when learning how to swim. For the non swimmer, entering the swimming pool can be either hugely daunting or very exciting. Either way, it must be done in a safe and appropriate way.
Before entering any swimming pool it is important to establish which end of the pool is the deep end and which is the shallow end. Most pools have appropriate signs up that clearly show which end it which. Most will also state the depth of the water at that end.
If you are unable to establish the water depth at your chosen point of entry, then ask the lifeguard on duty. Some swimming pools have no deep or shallow end, but instead are the same depth throughout. If this is the case, it is still important to find out how deep it actually is so that you can get an idea of where the water will come up to once you are in.
Those new to swimming and learning how to swim should consider the following methods of entering the pool:
This is the best entry for the nervous non-swimmer. Check the depth of the water first to ensure you can stand on the pool floor once you have fully entered the water. Enter by holding on to the rails with both hands and stepping down one step at a time.
This is a safe and gradual entry that allows you to take your time.
Some pools have steps into the pool underwater that start at deck level. These are the safest and easiest entry points as they allow a slow and gradual entry.
This entry works best on deck-level swimming pools. Once again ensure the water depth is shallow enough to be able to stand on the pool floor before entering.
From a sitting position, with legs in the water, place both hands to one side and then turn your back to the water. Then lower yourself gradually into the water, keeping hold of the poolside at all times.
A jumping entry into the swimming pool is usually appropriate for the confident swimmer. Non swimmers and those with a fear of swimming in deep water are unlikely to be confident enough to jump into the water unaided.
Confident non-swimmers might jump into the pool, but should do so wearing appropriate buoyancy aids.
Before using a jumping entry, you should consider the depth of the water compared to your own height.
Start with toes over the edge of the poolside to get a safe grip, jump away from the poolside and bend the knees on landing.
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